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Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer [Kindle Edition]

Chris Denove , James Power
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

The ultimate guide to customer satisfaction, from the people who understand it better than anyone

For nearly forty years, J. D. Power and Associates has been synonymous with measuring customer satisfaction and helping businesses understand what customers really want. Now two of the company?s senior executives, Chris Denove and James D. Power IV, unlock the vault on decades of closely guarded research data?and insights previously available only to the firm?s clients. This is the first book that really explains how great companies like Lexus, UPS, JetBlue, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car get it right, delivering consistently high customer satisfaction and translating it into profitable growth. It will teach you, for instance, how to:
? Understand the financial link between satisfaction and profits
? Turn customers who are simply ?satisfied? into vocal advocates
? Empower frontline employees to do the right thing
? Use problem resolution as an opportunity to make new fans

Satisfaction offers advice for companies large or small, for product manufacturers, service providers, and retailers alike. It delivers not just a stockpile of customer research, but a road map to developing specific policies and processes. It also tells fascinating stories of companies that don?t just talk the talk, but walk the walk every day?and of other companies that ignored the voice of the customer, with dire consequences.


A guide to customer satisfaction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 705 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (26 Jun. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SWV67Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #971,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful insights about customer satisfaction 9 Aug. 2007
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Most companies say they believe in catering to their customers, yet many top executives overlook the connection between service and profitability. Ignoring the ''voice of the customer'' leads to missed opportunities, alienated consumers and disastrous product launches. Chris Denove and James D. Power IV of J.D. Power and Associates are experts in customer satisfaction. They explore the link between customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increased profits. They explain how you can create a ''top down'' corporate culture of customer service that extends from the executive suite to your front-line employees. The authors breathe life into their lessons with examples from their years in the field. If you're interested in giving your customers what they deserve, we believe this book sets a high standard and tells you how to hit it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Satisfaction - No Profit 11 April 2006
By Conor Cunneen - Published on
In the foreword to this interesting book, J. D. Power III, the founder of J. D. Power and Associates recalls two meetings where he presented to Pontiac representatives. Meeting one took place in January 1980 when he detailed the Japanese automakers emphasis on quality. He predicted that the then GM market share of 48% would drop to 33% by the end of the decade. Not too surprisingly, some of the Pontiac / GM representatives did not take too kindly to the prediction.

Famed baseball player and sometime philosopher Yogi Berra reputedly said, "Predictions are notoriously difficult - especially predictions of the future." Power's anecdote provides living proof of this little witticism, because he got his prediction wrong. The GM share fell to that 33% share two years earlier than predicted! Power made a similar presentation to Pontiac executives in 1989, providing similar dread warnings. GM's share today is in the mid-twenties and most people are familiar with the terrible financial situation this once proud industry behemoth is now in.

Power's overall point. - Product quality counts. It is a key determinant of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to improved financial performance. The author's make the point that executives know this correlation but do not always live and breath this philosophy.

Customer satisfaction builds loyalty. Good customer service often generates good word of mouth advertising - no matter what the industry. I found it interesting that one of the nation's largest house builders, Pulte Homes, suggests that 45% of its sales are influenced by the positive recommendations of another customer. I might have been a little dubious of that figure had I not learned at a recent conference for mortgage brokers I attended, that the top performing brokers got up to 40% of their business from previous customers!!

Satisfaction contains numerous product references featuring good and bad performance by manufacturers and service providers. Not too surprisingly, JetBlue and Lexus get significant coverage reflecting a very high level of customer satisfaction. The book was finished before JetBlue ran into some loss making quarters which it could be argued undermines the thesis of the book, although I think it would have taken an absolute genius (or a Southwest executive ) to figure out just how dramatically aviation fuel would increase. It will be interesting to see how JetBlue performs over coming quarters, but I tend to believe that their renowned customer service combined with very strong customer advocacy will bring them back to profitability.

Lexus figures prominently in the book simply because they are THE best and consistently so. It really is astonishing that Lexus was able to take brand leadership in the luxury car market, against Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and BMW within ten years of entering this market sector.

One of the many interesting chapters in the book refers to Different Companies, Different Touchpoints. Here the authors suggest that a company's ability to understand the various ways its business touches customers and then uses that knowledge is what determines success. For instance the touch points for service providers:

* Objective quality of the service provided

* Subjective experience of how the service is performed

* Process by which the service is acquired

differ from the touchpoints differ for product manufacturers e.g. Lexus

* Product execution

* Product quality

* Sales experience (as perceived by the customer)

* Service experience

The continued success of Lexus isn't just due to the quality of the car itself (which is superb) but also due to the overall customer experience and the satisfaction of all touchpoints.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car gets kudos from the authors also. It is another organization that maintains very high levels of customer satisfaction which has helped it become the largest car rental company in the United States. Do you remember when Avis would proudly claim "We're number two - we try harder"? Seems as if it will have to change that to "number three" today.

If you need good solid evidence of the value of quality and customer satisfaction, look no further than the price of a Chevrolet Malibu as compared to its Toyota competitor, the Camry. Both models target basically the same market and provide roughly same functionality and mileage. Indeed, the authors suggest that the current real quality gap between the two cars is quite small. Indeed in writing this review, I checked the J.D Power site [...] and compared the two vehicles. The Malibu rates better in total!! Yet, the authors state that because of the perceived reputation of the Camry, the car normally sells for about $2,000 more for a comparable specification. Given that GM sells about 250,000 Malibus per year, that is a significant drop in revenue. Effectively, the cost of many years of lost Satisfaction.

A good book written by people who know the benefits of quality.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful advice and ideas for improving customer satisfaction 3 Mar. 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Satisfaction should be the standard primer for everyone interacting with a customer or partner. Period. Easy to understand and written for abroad audience, this book is powerful ammunition in making any argument that the customer comes first. This book opens the JD Power door to many great stories, including those about the fate of companies with great inventions but the inability to listen to the consumer. For example, Peugeot invented one of the first fuel injectors, only to lose market share because Americans wanted to step on the gas pedal before starting their cars.

You know you have a customer service problem if...

"You're spending more money to acquire new customers compared with competitors or compared with internal standards. Employee turnover is another indication."

If you have a problem....

"Consumers aren't expecting perfection, but they want problems to be dealt with in a forthright way."

One example used was of Lexus. When they were first starting, there were a few "minor problems with its cars." So, "they rushed a letter of apology to every customer, then had the dealerships pick up the vehicles and bring them in for repairs." Lexus turned a problem into a customer service advantage. This book is filled with such relevant examples, such as using problem resolution as an opportunity to make new customers into vocal advocates for a particular company.

A must read!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! 2 Aug. 2007
By Atomicwasteland - Published on
Verified Purchase
J.D. Power is a customer satisfaction company and an award from them is always highly prized. As such, it was interesting to see what the authors had to say about businesses today.

"Satisfaction" has a lot of case studies of companies (like Lexus, Enterprise Rent a Car, and Jetblue) which go the extra mile to delight their customers and to create experiences that will turn them from mildly enthusiastic into whole-hearted supporters.

One interesting thing that I liked was how the link between profits and customer satisfaction was made, and how it was not always the right thing to do to please a discontented customer. This, in my eyes, gave the book more credibility, because it was not trying to sell you 100% on going overboard for every customer, but was making the case for why going above and beyond made good long term business sense much of the time, but had to be analyzed in specific situations.

Secondly, I enjoyed learning about how customers who had a problem free experience were less likely to rate a company highly than those who had had a "serious" problem, which was then resolved efficiently and to the customer's satisfaction. These customers were much more likely to become lifelong supporters of the company.

The case studies that were presented were always interesting and made the book a delightful read. I did not think I would like the book as much as I did. I highly recommend it!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this is a very strong book for anyone thinking about their customers 1 Mar. 2006
By Craig Matteson - Published on
If you have anything to do with your company's strategic positioning, resource allocation, and/or customer satisfaction, this book is something you will want to read. As an entrepreneur and an MBA who has gone through the usual courses, I found the book refreshing, informative, and actually thoughtful about the real world rather than a book of formulations priming the sale for consulting services.

The knee jerk reaction towards customer service is to make sure everyone has a fabulous experience each and every time they interact with your company. However, this book takes a more mature look at the kind of business you are in, the kind of strategy you have in the marketplace, the cost of the level of service that is appropriate to your competitive position, and who your customers really are (saying "everyone" is almost never a correct answer).

I loved the discussion of turning apathetic customers into advocates. Advocates are customers that will actually go out and recruit for your company because of their enthusiasm for your products and services. The authors are very deliberate in showing when this is strategy is effective and when it is a waste of money. A very strong concept, I think. We all know about the angry customer who goes on the warpath against you, but this is not about avoiding creating them, that is essential, but thinking about creating positive market buzz through your customers.

You may find that you can reallocate the service dollars you are currently spending more wisely, or that you are spending dollars to no real effect. There is also very helpful information on how to do some competitive intelligence through listening to not only your customers, but what customers have to say about their experiences with your competitors. The authors also show us how certain approaches to measuring customer satisfaction might not only distort the measure, but end up hurting the customer's experience. They show how compensating employees for good scores can motivate them to help distort the scores by manipulating the customers. There is also a good suggestion about how sophisticated customers might hold up the employee for extras in exchange for good scores.

The book is full of great real world examples and is written in a lively and convincing way. VERY strongly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VP Customer Care 29 May 2007
By T. Cicero - Published on
My CEO recommended this book (double-dip reco on this item). The book provided the right focus on customer satisfaction that is vital to our organization and my department (customer care). I found take-away in every chapter. I have recommended to others, purchased this for my staff and will share a copy with other department heads as well. It is very important that we look at our customers and how they impact our business not just the fact they make a's the "why" that brings them back or unfortunately turns them off that must be considered at every level. This book highlights both the positives and negatives of customer satisfaction that everyone including front-line team must understand and embrace to take them away from putting in their time to making a difference to both external and internal customers.
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